Accident TM-1 Thunder Mustang N151WR,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 231931
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Date:Saturday 4 January 2020
Time:10:10 LT
Type:TM-1 Thunder Mustang
Registration: N151WR
MSN: 24
Year of manufacture:2001
Engine model:Falconer V12 liquid co
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Santa Clarita, CA -   United States of America
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:Los Angeles-Van Nuys Airport, CA (VNY/KVNY)
Destination airport:Los Angeles-Van Nuys Airport, CA (VNY/KVNY)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The pilot departed for flight in an amateur-built experimental airplane. A few minutes after takeoff, the pilot made a distress call to the airport tower controller stating a loss of engine power and a cockpit visibility issue. A witness observed the airplane maneuvering at a low altitude with smoke trailing from the airplane. Subsequently, the airplane struck a tree and impacted terrain in a grassy field located in the median of an interstate’s off-ramp, destroying the airplane.

Postaccident examination of the engine revealed damage that was consistent with detonation. One cylinder had material deformation that had burnt through the crankcase. Other cylinders had varying degrees of material deformation on their piston faces and cylinder heads, and the piston faces, and cylinder heads were absent of any carbon buildup. During the forced landing, the hole in the crankcase would have leaked coolant and oil, creating smoke and limiting the visibility from the cockpit, which likely would have prevented the pilot from seeing and avoiding the tree. The specific reason for the detonation could not be determined.

Probable Cause: Engine detonation that resulted in material deformation of the crankcase and led to engine failure and restricted cockpit visibility.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: WPR20FA057
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 2 months
Download report: Final report

________________________ (photo)



Photo: NTSB


Revision history:

04-Jan-2020 20:31 Iceman 29 Added
04-Jan-2020 20:33 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
04-Jan-2020 22:45 Captain Adam Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Phase, Nature, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
04-Jan-2020 23:56 Geno Updated [Registration, Cn, Location, Source]
05-Jan-2020 05:34 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Narrative]
05-Jan-2020 10:31 Pena_44 Updated [Embed code]
05-Jan-2020 12:49 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
05-Jan-2020 12:51 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
06-Jan-2020 15:58 RobertMB Updated [Registration, Phase, Nature, Source, Narrative]
16-Mar-2022 19:39 Captain Adam Updated [Location, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative, Category, Accident report, Photo]

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